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The future of the Big Four in the legal market is yet to be determined. ALM Intelligence research suggests that three future scenarios seem most likely:
1) Remain Focused on Legal Services with an Accounting or Consulting Overlap: the legal arms of the Big Four could remain in their current form – ancillary businesses designed to support the company’s core tax and advisory arms.
2) Expand into a ‘Full Service’ Offering: the Big Four could expand into a wider range of legal services, and transform their legal arms into standalone businesses similar to their current tax and consulting offerings. Such a move would bring them into direct competition with leading law firms.
3)Develop a Managed Legal Service Offering: the Big Four could develop a range of managed legal services which looks similar to the current offering of alternative legal service providers.
This paper examines each of these scenarios – which are not mutually exclusive - in detail. Each offers opportunities and risks to the Big Four, to law firms, and to other players in the legal market.